Frankton Fire Brigade marks 50th with open day

Mar 24, 2023

Frankton Fire Brigade is inviting the public to an open day at the station as it commemorates 50 years of serving the community.

The station traces its origins to a public meeting held on March 29, 1973, where the need for a new station to support the growing Frankton and Kelvin Heights communities was discussed.

The first fire station was the original Queenstown Volunteer Fire Brigade tin shed, relocated in 1974 to a section in Douglas St Frankton, where the current station was built in 1979.

The Frankton Fire Brigade Iveco rescue tender will be on display and available for photos (Image: Supplied).

The first fire engine supplied by the Fire Service was an International 1000-gallon tanker, open cab. 

It was manned by a small number of local volunteers, operating as a sub-station of the Queenstown Volunteer Fire Brigade, as it remains today.

The brigade also had responsibilities for supporting the international airport and the increasingly busy road network.  

In the mid-2000s the traditional pump fire truck was replaced with a rescue appliance and Frankton fire fighters are now trained in the use of specialised car extrication equipment. 

3Frankton fire fighters at the Hansen Rd fire on Boxing Day, 2022, from left, Andrew Doole, Marc Manderson, Cole Hands, Phil Kavanagh, John Rassie and Jo Hicks-Beach (Image: Supplied).

Being the first respondents to the growing residential community, Lakes District Hospital, an increasing number of schools, hotels, and businesses in Frankton has made the brigade one of the busiest single pump stations in the Otago and Southland area.

Last year the brigade of 27 members attended 244 calls, a drop of about 20 calls from pre-Covid-19 times.

The open day will take place at the Douglas St station on Sunday, April 2, from 11am to 2pm. 

The public are invited to look around the station, chat with firefighters, get photos on the fire truck and purchase fundraising anniversary patches and challenge coins.

A display of the car extrication equipment will be held during the day.

The open day is set for Sunday, April 2, 11am to 2pm.

Main image (Supplied): Frankton Fire Brigade in 1978, from left, Brian Gaskell, Ross Bradley, Dave McLaren, John Martin, Rex Dovey, Bruce Cook, Bruce Dillion, Graeme Williams, Trevor Walsh, and Andrew Crosbie.

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